DETERMINANTS OF ADHERENCE TO STANDARD PRECAUTIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF BLOOD BORNE INFECTIONS AMONG MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTISTS IN LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA

DETERMINANTS OF ADHERENCE TO STANDARD PRECAUTIONS FOR THE PREVENTION OF BLOOD BORNE INFECTIONS AMONG MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTISTS IN LAGOS STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

Standard precautions are guidelines recommended by the Centre for Disease Control for reducing the risk of transmission of blood borne pathogens in the clinical setting. Hospitals being one of the most hazardous places to work predispose health workers, especially medical laboratory scientists, to the risk of blood borne infections and sometimes death. This study aims to assess three major factors that determine adherence to standard precautions amongst medical laboratory scientists and the factors are information, motivation and behavioural skill in order to promote adherence which has been suboptimal even though the risk of non adherence is high.

The study utilized a cross sectional design and random sampling method to identify 425 medical laboratory scientists   working in both public and private hospitals in Lagos State Nigeria and the information motivation and behavioural skill that predicts adherence to standard precautions were assessed using a validated questionnaire. Results were analyzed using SPSS 21.0. Regression analysis was used to measure the relationship between the three variables information, motivation, behavioural skill and adherence while their percentage was also measured.

Four hundred and twenty five participants were enrolled for this study following securing their consent to participate, Out of 425 participant recruited 41.6% of them were between the ages of 30-39 and 17 (4.0%) of them were between the ages of 50 and above. Also, 287 (67.5%) of them appeared to be civil servants. Moreso, 232 (54.6%) of them were married and 356 (83.8%) of them were Christians. It also appeared that 226 (53.2%) of them had years of practice of between 1-5 years.  232 (54.6%) of them were Yoruba.

The results showed that medical laboratory scientists were well informed on standard precaution and their behavioural skill was also high as well with a percentage of 91.5%. The motivation was slightly above average with a percentage of 55.5% and the overall adherence was 61.4% which was still sub optimal .The regression analysis showed that all the three variables had a significant effect on adherence with p value p<0.005 but behavioural skill and information had a more predictive effect on adherence (R2=0.072, 0.072) and motivation (R2=0.012)

In conclusion, the overall information and behavioural skill was good and the productive effect on adherence was significant but the motivation was low there is need to increase motivation amongst medical laboratory scientist as this would significantly improve overall adherence to standard precautions thereby preventing the spread of infection from patients to the medical laboratory scientist and from the medical laboratory scientist to the community. Adherence to standard precautions must be made compulsory in all laboratories at all times as this is the most effective way of reducing the risk of blood born infections.

Keywords: Standard precaution, Medical laboratory scientists, Adherence, Blood borne, Risk